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Two things you might like to read! Or not! How should I know?

Skygiants' reread of Les Mis, with much pointing out how rubbish Marius is.

Remember The Ratings from the Brunching Shuttlecocks? Sjoberg's put them up on his site. Yay!
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Comedycomedycomedy! I've booked a bunch of stuff in Yorkshire (including, like, theatre and stuff. But mostly comedy; Tony Law, Lucy Porter, Reduced Shakespeare Co, etc.) And! I'm going to Edinburgh in August, at only an arm and half a leg for the hotel so I can afford to go to some shows. I've been firmly intending to do this for years so I'm v. glad I actually got it together this time. And! I mayyyyy have just applied for a ticket to see Secret Dude Society recording in Glasgow in April, which just happens to be during the Glasgow Comedy Festival.
Live stuff yay!
(Not that podcasts aren't excellent because they are.)

Oh, I'm still reading all the Yuletide stuff I downloaded. Here's one I just got round to today which was nice. Arthur Dent deals with Christmas after the Earth is destroyed.

I had an enormous lunch, why am I starving again now? Is it cold or something? *Eats something with suet in it*.
(Perhaps I should start using my twitter. I seem to only have teeny things to say at the moment, not long enough for a real blog post. Except squeaking about comedy! from time to time.)
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I am periodical, cold-ridden (the sort of cold where you have to sleep sitting up or you DROWN), cold, hungry, overworked and grumpy (I was going to a gig tomorrow in York and they cancelled it, like, yesterday. Now I have to decide if I feel like having a night in York anyway- which, I mean, yes, York, but floods, and see above re: feeling like Death From Snot.) It is the perfect day to wade through tumblr! This picture alone has cheered me up enough to go and make myself some lovely soothing porridge. [Warning! Half-naked men!]

Also I have done all my Christmas shopping already. (Easiest Year Ever, because we've been told to do homemade stuff and I made marmalade in January. Mwahahaha.)
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All right, look, this is Dick and Dom, but it's not slashy- it's just one of the wierdest fucking things I've ever seen. It's a surprise the cow only looks sarcastic, I'd have thought she'd be apopleptic...


(The CBBC continuity links with Dick, Dom and Dodge the Dog have been taken down off Youtube. TRAGEDY.)
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OMG Fist of Fun really really is coming soon. With extras and everything. SO EXCITED. Definitely not asking for it for Xmas- I'm not waiting that long to get my hands on it!

Just watched Sue Perkins, Alison Steadman and Stephen Mangan getting adorably confused about which way is south all over Cornwall in All Roads Lead Home, which was just lovely. Highly recommend it to other UKers.

In bloom: Alyssum, lobelias, sweet peas, campanulas, red daylilies, sunflowers, pansies, violas, geraniums, crysanthemums, Michaelmas daisies, nasturtiums, autumn-flowering cyclamen, ragged robin (at least I think that's what that pink thing is). Needs harvesting before a frost: Greek basil.
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I've realised that although I've gushed in person about Horrible Histories I've never linked any of the sketches to try and convert my flist! (UK readers will already be well aware of it and will OF COURSE be fans already, yes? So you can skip to the last two links which are very amusing fanvids.)

My two favourite songs, from a very strong list of contenders:
Literally: heavy metal vikings
Born 2 Rule: boyband King Georges

I really like the TV genre parodies, like the over-excitable news presenter, Bob Hale, here with the Pharoah report, or Historical Masterchef; and the Shouty Man ads, like this for an amazing cleaning device. But really all the sketches are good. (Photo story rendition of the wedding of Bloody Mary and Philip of Spain).

Aaand the fanvids! One, two.

Watch, watch!
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Last weekend to went to Manchester, and if I'm ever going to write it up it needs to be before this weekend... I went partly to see E, and indeed we had a good time catching up, eating dim sum (veggie choice looked fine on the regular menu but hardly any on the carts- still, what there was was nice), shouting ourselves hoarse to be heard in a student bar, and going round Afflecks, a large many-independent-shops emporium. But the proximate reason was Uncaged Monkeys- Robin Ince and Brian Cox presenting Science, with funny in it. The Apollo was sold out with as geeky an audience as I've ever had the pleasure of being in, and it was excellent. (A couple of short podcasts from Oxford and Glasgow here if you want a taster.)

Let's see, who was there. Ben Goldacre, talking about not accepting authority and the problems of not publishing negative results; responded to the round of applause as he came on with "it's the tank top, isn't it?" (Robin pointed out that he looked like he was auditioning for the 12th Doctor.)

Matt Parker, a mathematician (or number ninja) brought in number theory sneakily by trying to work out a barcode's check digit in his head, and suggested a fun thing to do with Sudoku.

Brian ("I've played the Apollo before, in 1989, I was on the keyboards standing about... here") Cox: Robin brought him on with a George Formby impression, and he responded that he now finds it hard to say the word "universe" any more- "I just hear Robin's stupid southern voice trying to impersonate me". He did a quick spin through astophysics, CERN ("it's next to the runway at Geneva airport to make it easy to give scale on the photos") and the deep field photo- "If you're playing the Wonders of the Universe drinking game, you'll be rat-arsed by now"- and talked about the gravity probe B results from earlier in the week, which confirmed Einstein and as a result are very very wierd- I'm sure they're lots of places online.

They asked for questions to be tweeted in over the interval and answered them afterwards. (Quite a lot of them were to Brian saying "Why don't you come back to your job here, then?") Let's see, there was one about gravity slingshots, one about "are numbers real" which ended with Brian saying admiringly to Matt "You've just said that reality is a subset of your discipline", and one about apocalypses after 2012, which went very off-topic as a result of Matt bringing in that Mayans used base 20 and Ben saying that he couldn't see how you can count on your toes.

Then! There was Helen Keen doing some stand-up about the US space programme (and stamps with space-cats on them). I think I've loved every act I've seen with a Venn diagram in it, and hers was an excellent example. (What overlap links the Apollo programme with Raiders of the Lost Ark?)

Helen Arney, on ukulele, with a song about sex in the animal kingdom and one about Countdown.

Finally, Simon Singh, with a nice bit about perception and playing songs backwards. He then demonstrated that light is a wave using a ruler and a laser pointer, and electrocuted a gherkin to show that elements emit different wavelengths of light, and zoomed through deducing that the universe is expanding, ending up with the Katie Melua song 12 Million Light Years.

It was all finished off with the "pale blue dot" bit from Sagan's Cosmos. It worked really well as an evening, excellent fun. ( I believe there are still tickets to the last date of the tour, the Hammersmith Apollo on Tuesday. Go go!)
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So: [livejournal.com profile] sigmonster was here for the weekend and we did quite enough DIY for my liking, thank you very much. My ridiculously cheap giant swivelly chair works again, which is spiffing.
Also I have been to see Yeomen of the Guard and frankly I reckon there must have been Victorian girls writing fixit fic when it first came out (there are two heroines- one of them gets a dashing soldier and the other one (spoiler!) is blackmailed into marrying a torturer; WS Gilbert at his charming best there. No terribly memorable tunes, either.)

Dick & Dom: tinhattery )
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Black Cinderella II Goes East is on Youtube.

No, really, Black Cinderella II Goes East is on Youtube. !!!OMG eee!!!

(For those who haven't spent as many idle hours wishing this would ever get repeated as I have: a panto, produced by Douglas Adams, written by Clive Anderson, starring most of the I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again cast not to mention Peter Cook... apparently it isn't actually quite as amazing as it should be, but I don't care; listening to it will be the perfect Christmas present to myself.)

Oh, and did y'all know that BBC4's doing Dirk Gently? My geek runneth over.
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Something interesting appears in Twitter feed shock... new video for Proud Of The BBC. Love the ending.
(Also I'm not sure I'd caught the "Ben and Xander, Rob and Dave" line before!)
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Via [personal profile] gillo: Fic in which Lestrade and John play Mornington Crescent while Sherlock is trying to detect. It's ace.
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An interesting post about last week's Sherlock on legionseagle's journal (spoilers!) led to a discussion of what AUs would have resulted from the original Holmes short stories not existing, and this thought of marinarusalka's would be amazing. Anyone know any mystery writers accepting plotbunnies???

"Okay, now I'm imagining Christie coming up with the "English cozy" version of the urban fantasy mysteries that are popular today. Instead of a tattooed punk half-elf psychic detective with a vampire sidekick solving murders in a large US city, we get a nice half-elf spinster lady solving murders in a small English village. I'm kinda sorry that didn't happen."

(I'd love it if this had become a genre that split, as cozies have done, into fluffy end of police procedural (DI's best friend is the grumpy elf police surgeon, embittered by death of his human wife), semi-realistic but with quipping (Charlotte Macleod's Peter Shandy series if Profesor Svenson was an actual mountain troll!), extra cute with recipes (heroine's mom is always sending her lembas)... there are already psychic cat mysteries which would need hardly any retrofitting- The Kneazle Who Smelt A Rat, anyone?)
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Lobsterrrrrrrrr. Waaaannnnntttt. (Mmm. Grilled lobster. Might it be worth seeing if pre-cooked lobster can be improved by bunging the flesh over the coals for a minute, I wonder?)
(Sorry, vegetarians.)
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So, there was a TV series in 2003 that I didn't watch- I think it might well have been on BBC3 before we got digital or something- which was lots of snippets of up-and-coming standups, like, ooh, Brendon Burns, Alan Carr, Noel Fielding, Gina Yashere... anyway, it's sneaked out on DVD, and is a whole lot of fun. The episodes are little 15-minute ones, each on a theme- so you get Crime, and Hal Cruttenden talks about fear of being mugged, Tony Burgess has a routine about doing a ram-raid, Jimmy Carr has a mordant one-liner on murder, and Noel Fielding does a section on a raindrop stealing the crown jewels (yeah, I know, bit of a cliche, but he puts a spin on it.) Brain Candy, not to be comfused with the Kids In The Hall film.
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I hadn't spotted this till today- Son of Cliche on Radio 7. (That's a really, really awful joke in Captain Invisible And The See-Through Kid. I laughed a lot.)
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Sometimes reading can be more satisfying than watching things- for example, all a YouTube video of some of these buggers would show would be either a big explosion or people runing away, whereas there's some real skill gone in to the descriptions...

(Polyazides: "Thermodynamically, nitrogens bonded to each other are always regarded as guilty until proven innocent - there's always the fear that they're going to find a way to throw off their civilized clothes and revert to wild nitrogen gas."

And more specifically, Chalcogen Polyazides: "Spirited stuff, that tetra-azide. The experimental section of the paper enjoins the reader to wear a face shield, leather suit, and ear plugs, to work behind all sorts of blast shields, and to use Teflon and stainless steel apparatus so as to minimize shrapnel. Hmm. Ranking my equipment in terms of its shrapneliferousness is not something that's ever occurred to me, I have to say.")


(Via [profile] thesaucernews on [profile] james_nicoll's blog, which often has good stuff like this)
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Good Omens flatpack fic!

Saw Singin' In The Rain on stage on Friday; very good (liked the "cut the 11-minute ballet, substitute a song for Lina" decision), also prompted me to watch several musicals over the weekend, and to see what else Donald O'Connor was in, anyway, which was quite a lot of things, so I should get hold of some of them probably (his IMDb page says he had to have three days in bed after shooting the Make 'Em Laugh sequence, which makes my slightly achy calves from last week look a bit pathetic.) I would quite like to see some Don/Cosmo or Don/Kathy/Cosmo.
And! My delayed Amazon package has arrived, so I have birthday presents for young relatives, and also some Star Trek:TOS.
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Trek film parody that made co-worker ask anxiously if I was choking.
(Sadly quotes would mostly be spoilers, but:

KIRK: Who is that pointy-eared bastard, and why are his eyebrows smirking at me?
MCCOY: I dunno but, baby, I like a Vulcan with spirit. Rawr.
...
UHURA: You know my qualifications. MA in advanced linguistics. PhD in badass.
...
SPOCK: Sigh. Now I must render you unconscious with a single blow. How tedious.)
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[personal profile] ruthi pointed to this excellent list of useful phrases for the intergalactic traveller by Joanna Russ.
(Eg:
"In the Hospital:
----------------
No!
My eating orifice is not at that end of my body.
I would rather do it myself.
My religious convictions prevent me from joining in the event.
I do not feel well.
I feel very sick.
Please do not let the atmosphere in (out) as I will be most uncomfortable.
I do not eat lead.
These limbs are not mine.
My head is not interchangeable.
Placing the thermometer there will yield little or no useful information.")

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